State lawmakers meet with Elkhart residents - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

State lawmakers meet with Elkhart residents

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Elkhart area residents got a chance to talk with State Lawmakers directly on Friday.  State Representatives Tim Wesco, Dave Ober,  Rebecca Kubacki, and Tim Neese were answering questions at the Elkhart Public Library.

HJR-3, the proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, was a topic that drew a great deal of attention during this session. Lawmakers say that time spent on this measure was not disruptive to the legislative schedule. State Representative Tim Neese says that there are smaller committees dedicated to trying to pass bills in laws and so the House and Senate as a whole were not distracted from passing other legislation. He added that he does not see HJR-3 coming up for discussion again anytime soon.  State Representative Dave Ober also says that there was no regret on the amount of time spent on the measure because the discussions were civil and everyone was able to share their opinions. 

"I think it got its full hearing. That's what's supposed to happen," Rep. Ober said. "There was lots of public input. Everyone had their voices during that process and that's how democracy is supposed to work."

In terms of looking ahead to the next session, they believe that the business personal property tax will be heavily addressed. Governor Mike Pence wants the tax removed from businesses which aims at business equipment. Rep. Neese says he spoke with business owners who were against it.

The General Assembly adjourns for the year on March 14.  That made this the last chance the public had to speak with representatives in person while the General Assembly is still in session.

Rep. Neese also shed some light on his run for Mayor of Elkhart. "We've had a couple of fundraisers and I've been encouraged by the support." he said. "But it's a long way. As the saying goes 'it's a marathon, not a sprint.'" The election will be held in 2015.

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